Why does she repeatedly refuse to stop wearing the letter? What is the difference between the identity she creates for herself and the identity society assigns to her? For Hester, to remove the scarlet letter would be to acknowledge the power it has in determining who she is.
Every human being needs the opportunity to express how he or she truly feels, otherwise the emotions are bottled up until they become volatile. Unfortunately, Puritan society did not permit this kind of expression, thus characters had to seek alternate means to relieve their personal anguishes and desires.
Luckily, at least for the four main characters, Hawthorne provides such a sanctuary in the form of the mysterious forest. Hawthorne uses the forest to provide a kind of "shelter" for members of society in need of a refuge from daily Puritan life. In the deep, dark portions of the forest, many of the pivotal characters bring forth hidden thoughts and emotions.
The forest track leads away from the settlement out into the wilderness where all signs of civilization vanish.
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|Nathaniel Hawthorne||Wearing the letter "A" on her clothes, Hester Prynne must display the "scarlet letter" whenever she is in public.|
|The Scarlet Letter |authorSTREAM||His knowledge of their beliefs and his admiration for their strengths were balanced by his concerns for their rigid and oppressive rules.|
This is precisely the escape route from strict mandates of law and religion, to a refuge where men, as well as women, can open up and be themselves. It is here that Dimmesdale openly acknowledges Hester and his undying love for her.
It is also here that Hester can do the same for Dimmesdale.
Finally, it is here that the two of them can openly engage in conversation without being preoccupied with the constraints that Puritan society places on them.
The forest itself is the very embodiment of freedom. Nobody watches in the woods to report misbehavior, thus it is here that people may do as they wish. Throw off the shackles of law and religion. What good have they done you anyway? Look at you, a young and vibrant woman, grown old before your time.
And no wonder, hemmed in, as you are, on every side by prohibitions. Why, you can hardly walk without tripping over one commandment or another. Come to me, and be masterless. She openly talks with Dimmesdale about subjects which would never be mentioned in any place other than the forest.
We felt it so! We said to each other! The thought of Hester and Dimmesdale having an intimate conversation in the confines of the society in which they live is incomprehensible.
Yet here, in the forest, they can throw away all reluctance and finally be themselves under the umbrella of security which exists.
In Puritan society, self reliance is stressed among many other things. However, self reliance is more than stressed- it is assumed.
It is assumed that you need only yourself, and therefore should have no emotional necessity for a "shoulder to cry on". Once again, for people in the stations of life which Hester and Dimmesdale hold, it would be unthinkable for them to comfort each other. Yet, in the forest, these cares are tossed away.
With this plea comes an interesting sort of role-reversal. When Dimmesdale asks for help, he is no longer sustaining the belief that he is above Hester.
He is finally admitting that she is an equal, or even that she is above him. Hester, assuming a new position of power, gives a heartfelt, moving speech.
The eloquence of her words cannot be overemphasized, and a more powerful statement had yet to be made in the book. The answer is obvious, yet upon closer examination they seem to give unexpected results. Backward to the settlement, thou sayest! Yea; but onward, too!Essay Analysis Of Nathaniel Hawthorne 's ' The Scarlet Letter ' Nathaniel Hawthorne is widely known for his mysterious, symbolic, and thought provoking work.
Contrary to popular belief, he was not born Nathaniel Hawthorne but in fact added the W in his last name in order to unlink himself from his lineage.
The Scarlet Letter; A Criticism of Puritan Beliefs Posted By: Jane Richardson Posted date: June 14, in: Book Reviews No Comments Nathaniel Hawthorne’s representation of the Puritan’s strict religious ways in his novel, The Scarlet Letter, was not just a mere observation but rather a .
In his classic novel, The Scarlet Letter, author Nathaniel Hawthorne explores the themes of legalism, sin, and guilt, themes that all relate to Puritanism. Legalism, or over-emphasis on. Hawthorne uses the symbol of the scarlet letter in his three main characters to criticize the puritan world and to question whether their beliefs and punishments are justified.
The novel begins with Esther emerging from prison holding Pearl, her illegitimate baby whom she had borne out of an act of adultery. Nathanial Hawthorne successfully exposed the puritanical lifestyle in its’ entirety within his celebrated novel, The Scarlet Letter. He was born during the 19th century, but set his story in the 17th century, revealing his keen knowledge on the subject of puritanism.
His desire to examine the. The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s representative work, is a classical novel in American literature in the 19th century. The novel displays Puritanism’s great impact on people's life and thought.